Last year we shared the Instagram account Subpar Parks, in which Amber Share illustrates one-star reviews of US National Parks. Now Share has turned her collection of reviews into a book called Subpar Parks: America’s Most Extraordinary National Parks and Their Least Impressed Visitors. It contains reviews in both text and illustrations, plus commentary from the author. All 63 US National Parks are included, plus some national monuments, recreation areas, and other areas under the Park Service’s umbrella.
The Raleigh, North Carolina-based designer had some strict criteria when it came to determining which reviews to use in her illustrations. She looked for reviews that predated the project; once it took off, people began to plant fake reviews to get her attention. Then, she tried to weed out any sarcastic ones, and others that criticized park management or administration.
“I really try to focus in on people just criticizing nature because that, to me, is what keeps it funny and light,” she says. “You could go on all day about the ways that Zion manages the shuttle system, and that’s not really what this is about. But somebody who thinks the scenery of Zion is distant and impersonal is really what gets me.”
See a half-dozen such reviews and what Share thinks about them at Smithsonian.
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